A 150cc Yamaha R15 or a 1000cc Yamaha R1… No Bike In The Middle?

biker1I have been driving a Hero Honda Karizma for the past 5 years and I am looking to swap it for a better one. The next best thing I got is the Yamaha R15, but it does not make sense to go from 223cc to 150cc by paying a higher price. Of course, Yamaha R15 is better than Karizma in certain aspects of performance, but the thin rear tyres of the Yamaha R15 would make me look like a kid driving a bi-cycle. Ok, if I want broad rear tyres, I got Yamaha FZ16, but where is the sportiness?

If I want more than that, there is Yamaha R1, Honda Fireblade and Suzuki Hayabusa, but for that kind of price, I could by a Honda or Totota luxury C-Segment sedan with automatic transmission. More over, the price is nearly doubled in India for these imported bikes because of the import duty by the great Indian government. Even if I am ready to shell out such an exorbitant price for the machine, there is not a service facility in my city, the spare parts are costly, I should fill it up with high octane fuel only and last but not the least, Indian roads suck!

Now what I want is a 400cc or 600cc bike with 60-80 horses and should be priced below 5 lakhs. I do not know anything about the bikes in the grey market and even if there is a channel to buy one, I don’t want to drive an illegal bike. What is really going on with the bike manufacturers in India? A bunch of 100cc bikes with almost the same engine but each with a new name every few months, a bunch of 110cc bikes, a couple of 125 and 135cc bikes, a few 150cc bikes and 2 bikes which “try” to reach the 250cc mark but falls short by a 20-30cc. And finally a 350cc bike with age old looks.

I have quit biking. It seems that I no longer want to ride a 2 wheeler. Beggars can’t be choosers… I have no choice but to accept the “Indian conditions” and convince myself to drive a 4-wheeler (and get stuck in the traffic).

The superbikes imported by the companies like Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki are not meant for sales and profit. I doubt whether these companies hardly sold more than 100 bikes in India. In my opinion, these bikes were launched in India just to get some free popularity and deliver the false image of a “powerful company” which produces bikes with 1 litre engines. The ultimate goal for these companies is to sell as many number of 100-150cc bikes and increase their bottom line.

If the government is not allowing the import of 400cc-600cc bikes, that is probably due to the influence of companies like TVS, Hero Honda and Bajaj. If the foreign companies increase the number of bike models in their portfolio, one by one the local companies would become extinct and that is not good for the Indian economy. Imagine 20 different bike models (with unique engines) in the showrooms of Honda or Yamaha… and Bajaj, TVS and Hero Honda’s showroom filled with just 10 bike models with the same engine in every 3 bikes… that would hurt the brand image of the local guys for sure and the sales would drop.

At least let us be happy that the same situation did not happen with cars. Imaging having only Maruti 800s and Altos to start with and if you want more, you got BMW 3 Series or Mercedes C Class! That would have been hell! 🙂

Losing the biking passion